Happy Easter. It’s not been a normal Easter for any of us. Were not gathered with our families, we didn’t dress up in our Easter best. For many of us church was online this morning or last night. It’s strange and a little sad. But He is risen and that should be more than enough to find joy to celebrate.
Mary Magdalene plays a very intregral part in the story of Easter Sunday. She was present at Jesus’s death, she visited his tomb and was the first person to see him alive. Mary knew fear. It says in Mark chapter 16 that Jesus cast 7 demons out of Mary. To live with 7 demons to me mean’s before Christ, Mary was terrified, depressed and full of darkness. Jesus saved Mary from torment. He made her brave. Mary in return dedicated her life to following him.
Mary Magdalene traveled with Jesus and his disciples. She witnessed his teachings, his miracles and his death. She is mentioned to be with Jesus’s mother Mary in Matthew Chapter 27 verse 55 watching Jesus’s death. It goes on to say in verse 61 that Mary Magdalene and “the other Mary mother of James” sat at the tomb where Jesus was laid after his burial.
They were grief stricken of the death of Jesus. However Saturday was the Sabbath and they could do no work on that day so esarly Sunday morning Mary Magdalene went back to the tomb to finish the proper burial of Jesus. On Saturday according to Matthew the tomb was sealed and guards were posted at the tomb. Matthew, Mark, Luke and John all give a different account of who was with Mary Magdalene the Sunday morning of Jesus’s resserection. Matthew just reports Mary, Mark says it was Mary and Salome, Luke just says “the women” and John says just Mary. Mary Magedalene is the common denominator. All four men agree she was there and witnessed the stone rolling away, at least one angel present and her savior.
When Mary Magdalene found the stone rolled away it says she and the other women went to the home the disciples were hiding in (John 20) and told them what they had seen. Peter left and went to the tomb with John following behind. Peter entered the tomb and saw the wrappings that Jesus had been buried in and believed he was risen. Mary Magdalene followed them and stood outside the tomb sobbing. In verse 12 it says that she stooped down to look at the tomb and saw two angels in white sitting where Jesus’s body had been laid. They asked her why she was crying and she said, “Because they have taken away my Lord and I do not know where they have laid Him.” (verse 13) After she said this she turned around and saw a man standing by her. The man asked also, “Why are you crying? For whom are you looking? Mary supposed he was the gardener and replied, “Sir, If you are the one who has carried him away from here, tell me where you have put Him, and I will take Him away, ” (verse 15) The Man replied, “Mary” and instantly Mary recognized Him as Jesus. In a second her sadness turned to joy when she saw her savior.
She called him Rabbi. He was her teacher, her friend and her Savior. He was dead, she had seen it and then he wasn’t. I’m sure on her way to the tomb she was afraid. Unsure how she would face the Roman guards. If they would let her see her Lord. When she arrived there were no guards and no Jesus. Just imagine what it was like to see him standing there calling her name. Our faith is hinged on that moment. The moment Jesus rose from the dead.
So I hope you celebrated Easter yesterday, and I hope you celebrate it today too, and the next and the next. Each day we should be thankful that Jesus is risen. Each day we should remember when our morning turned to joy. He is risen, He is risen indeed.